LISTEN: No, Religion Does Not Cause All Wars - A Conversation With Karen Armstrong

LISTEN: No, Religion Does Not Cause All Wars

Welcome to this week’s ALL TOGETHER, the podcast dedicated to exploring how religious ideas and spiritual practice inform and shape our personal lives, our communities and our world. The show is hosted by Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush, the Executive Editor of HuffPost Religion.

This week we talk to author Karen Armstrong on: The Relationship Between Religion and Violence.

Religious scholar Karen Armstrong has written books on religious topics ranging from Muhammad, to the Buddha to the History of God. She is also known as the founder of the Charter for Compassion, which promotes the principles of compassion in cities and communities around the world. Her latest book Fields of Blood Religion and the History of Violence chronicles how religion has, and has not contributed to violence over human history.

Armstrong told Raushenbush that she took on the project to explore this question for herself as well as to respond to the those who blithely insist that religion is the cause of violence. As she writes in the introduction to her book:

:As one who speaks on religion, I constantly hear how cruel and aggressive it has been, a view that eerily, is expressed in the same way almost every time: 'Religion has been the cause of all major wars in history.'"

In her conversation with Raushenbush Armstrong convincingly refutes this 'odd remark' as she calls it, first of all by reminding the listener that the two World Wars of the 20th century were not fought over religion.

In her book and in this conversation with Raushenbush, Armstrong makes a case for better understanding the interplay between religion and violence as a way to reduce violence in the world and to increase compassion.



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